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Baby Shower Etiquette

A Beginner’s Guide to Baby Shower Etiquette

Baby showers are one of the events that have changed a lot over the last couple decades, and baby shower etiquette has changed with them. Much of what happens at a baby shower is determined by the culture of the mother to be. For instance, in the past men never attended baby showers--they were considered strictly a female gathering, but today it is not uncommon for men to be invited or for the baby shower to be for couples. Still, the most common type of baby shower is for women only.

Baby shower etiquette is not complicated when it comes to who can host the baby shower. It can be anyone except the pregnant woman. There can also be more than one shower for the expectant mother, as long as it is hosted by a different person. It is more apt to be a friend who hosts a baby shower than a family member. While baby showers are an excellent way for a mom to get many of the necessities for caring for her child, it is also meant to be a method of supporting the expectant mother. Having a child can be scary, especially the first time, so socializing in this way in the company of friends and relatives can be uplifting and comforting.

It is good baby shower etiquette to involve the mom in planning the event. That way she can give input on who to invite and any preferences she might have for tone or theme. Surprise baby showers are exciting but be sure that the mother to be is the type of person who would be comfortable with one. Also, the fact that it is a surprise must be indicated on the invitations or it won’t be a surprise for long.

While baby showers have traditionally been held only for the first child, today, especially with the cost of caring for a newborn, it is perfectly acceptable to have a baby shower for each birth. It also doesn’t matter if the shower is before or after the birth. Both types of baby showers have their own positives. If it is before the birth, mom will have everything she needs when she brings home the baby. She will know beforehand what the gifts are and what she will have to buy herself. If the shower is after the birth of the child, you get to meet the baby and offer your congratulations at the shower. You also know if it is a boy or a girl which really helps in choosing gifts and in getting mom more specifically what she needs.

On baby shower day, the host should greet each guest at the door. It is part of good baby shower etiquette for everyone to introduce themselves and indicate how they know the expectant mom. Then traditionally there are snacks and a few baby shower games. If there is a meal and dessert or just dessert, it should take place next, and then the opening of gifts. There should be lots of laughter and expressions of surprise as the gifts are opened one by one. Often the host passes out party favors when people are starting to leave. Normally a baby shower lasts approximately two hours.




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